An important day for Koreans just passed


Some time ago when I saw that a store in a local plaza which I hadn't visited had a sign in the window, "Yook Ee Oh", I went in to ask whether there were some Koreans involved there, and they said not, that it was the name of a game, and I haven't found out what the game involved.

The Koreans refer to the months by number, and "yook" is "six", or June. "Ee" is "two", and "oh" is "five", so together they read "six twenty five", which is more meaningful to Koreans than "9 - 11" in the U.S. and other parts of the western world. Nine-eleven referred to a somehat military-style/warlike act, but it was a single occurance, and "six - twenty five" is June 25th, the day that the Korean War started, that ran on for three years ... and there hasn't yet been a "peace" declared: just a "truce".

I was in University at the time, and wondered whether I should enlist, as no one in my immediate family had been in the military in either World Wars I or II, the second having ended just five years earlier ... but the Korean War wasn't a big deal like the others had been, and I was busy in university ... so decided against it.

Some left-leaning, Communist supporting students had claimed that South Korea started it!

If there's anything that supporters of any ideology, religion or political persuasion can't stand ... it's to have people of differing opinions laugh t their viewpoint. They didn't like it when we shook our forearm toward them, letting our hand flop toward them at the end saying, "Get out of here! You say that South Korea started it ... and within two or three days, they lost both their capital city and their military headquarters! Impossible: such a sequence ain't gonna happen!"

There came a call for missionaries for Africa and Korea during my last year in theology, and I wondered about Korea, partly related to my deciding against the military earlier, possibly, and we had a young Korean medical student in our residence doing studies in blood, though he and I weren't especially friends.

I applied, was accepted, and was on the Pacific during an 18-day trip from Los Angeles, via near the Aleutians, to Manila, also Hong Kong, en route to Kobe, Japan when the truce was declared in Korea.

I was based in three locations during my four-year stay, with three of us new arrivals together on Koje Island, near Pusan, for the first year. We had language teachers come in every day Mon. - Fri., but were pretty well speechless after they went home.

Many refugees needing help ... and when they went to look for work, "What's the matter with you - don't you know there's been a war around here - we've had to lay about 3/4 of our workers off, and only a few are able to come back, so far!"

So ... "Yook- ee - oh" has been part of my psyche for many years - let's say about 66.

ole joyfuelled

Comments (2)
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Interesting, OJ. My late husband was stationed in Korea during the Vietnam War, in the DMZ. I had no idea until I met him (after his discharge from the Army) that there were even troops still in Korea - late 1960's. He was a lucky guy because, even though drafted into the Army, he went to Korea instead of Vietnam. He was a radio operator, if I remember correctly, and said those troops were the #1 fatality in Vietnam. He was also a driver for a ?? Army big shot, I forget what the rank was? General maybe? He had some pretty amazing stories about his time there, both on duty and off duty.

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I thought of this when I read that over 32,000 were still considered missing in action. Given the intense shelling it is only surprising that there were not more.

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